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Salt Lake City — The IPOP Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping cultivate entrepreneurs, announced the winners of its first IPOP Mobile App Idea Competition. The contest challenged high school students to come up with an idea for a new mobile app to be judged for an opportunity to win one of four scholarships totaling $5,000.
The inaugural competition took place at Alta High School in Sandy, where teams of one to four students submitted their mobile app ideas along with documentation on its potential target market, the market need, its competitive differentiators, and a revenue model.
The winning entries were:
First place: Sean O’Bryant’s “iScholarship,” an app for high-school and college students that would significantly lower the time spent collecting information about all scholarships throughout the country by narrowing down the options for the user based on academic interests, college prospects and other talents.
Second place: Emily Serdar and Jessica Eddington’s “Period Planner,” an app designed for women that helps ease "that time of the month" by providing them with daily inspiration, connecting them with girlfriends while generating an SOS to other users of the app, and suggesting recipes to ease cramping and other monthly ailments.
Third place and audience favorite: Avery Smith’s “Geni,” a clothing app that enables users to find outfits by flipping through their wardrobe on their phones instead of looking through their closets, suggests ensembles that fit both the occasion and the weather, and alerts users of items another peer or classmate may have chosen for the day.
Out of hundreds of entries, the top 10 finalists were selected to present in front of a panel of judges from the local business community during a school-wide assembly – mirroring the format of the TV show “Shark Tank” and named the “Hawk Tank” for the school’s mascot. The first-, second- and third-place teams received $2,000, $1,500, and $1,000 in scholarships, respectively. The student audience also had the opportunity to text in a vote for its favorite idea, with that team winning a $500 scholarship.
“We designed this competition to expose high school students to the career possibility of entrepreneurship, giving them firsthand experience on the process of bringing an idea to reality,” said Amy Rees Anderson, co-founder of the IPOP Foundation. “Through contests like this – which we plan on bringing to other high schools in the future – these budding entrepreneurs have a fun platform where they can get a first taste of the business world. The creativity we saw here at Alta was tremendous. These students have such incredible ideas and a lot of ambition, and we’re thrilled to be able to give them an outlet to showcase that.”